Reflections From a Spiritual Mirror

girl looking in a mirror

Spiritual mirrors are not normal mirrors. They are not a tangible piece of formed glass hanging on a wall. Spiritual mirrors are people, experiences, challenges, tragedies, etc. that show us our spiritual maturity.

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Are We People Who Reflect God’s Heart?

Brett and Katy Causey on wedding day

How can the lessons of marriage develop into a mindset that is constantly more selfless?

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A Different Perspective

Recently, my husband and I had the opportunity to have one of the Leadership Development Program Moody scholars stay with us. man leaning against a wallYou’ve met Richmond, Michelle and Tony. Well, “Jimmy from Kenya,” as he likes to call himself, is our newest scholarship recipient.

With Jimmy from Kenya (a.k.a. Jimmy Wambua) as a house guest, we were treated to the first reactions to life in America from the perspective of someone who had grown up in poverty.

After the first couple of days, I asked him how it was going and what struck him most about life in America. It was the cheese.

“In America, you are so particular about what you want. You take me to Subway and they ask, ‘What kind of bread do you want?’ ‘What type of dressing do you want?’ ‘What type of cheese do you want?’ In my country cheese is cheese. It’s this or it’s nothing.”

The variety in general was a bit overwhelming to Jimmy.

“When I asked Mike for tea, he opened the cabinet and there was so much. Tropical tea, dessert tea, tea cocktail. Even in cars you have variety. You have a car for different kinds of weather and different activities.”

At every turn, we seemed to be asking him to make choices. And let’s not even talk about our trip to Walmart.

He was also quite struck by our home and our neighborhood. We live in a fairly typical middle-class American neighborhood and home.

Before he came, I had felt a bit self-conscious because the other hosts of the students were older with nicer homes. I secretly thought he’d be disappointed to stay with us. I know this is a silly worry considering he was coming from a one-room home without indoor plumbing, but I was thinking about the Joneses.

His perspective was different than mine.

“This is the home of a politician. These are the couches of a politician … . This is what I’ll call stinking rich. You live in posh environments, but you don’t feel they are posh.”

Jimmy stayed in our basement, which has an attached bathroom. He said,

“When you first showed me my room, I thought, ‘This must be the main part of the house, the best part of the house.’ Then I saw it was just the basement. In my country, I could work for years and still not have something as nice as your basement.”

I asked Jimmy if it frustrated him or made him angry to see people with so much. I always wonder that when visitors come — are they secretly judging us? Jimmy was gracious.

“Someone without my background who is struggling might be angry. But my feeling is biased because of Compassion. I understand why God blesses Americans — what you give. I believe that spirit of giving has gotten into American culture. You’ve been able to be content with what you have and give to others instead of keeping it for yourselves. Because of your generosity, God has blessed. God rewards you for listening to his call.”

I hope I can live up to Jimmy’s generous attitude toward us.

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New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not much into New Year’s resolutions. I find it an odd tradition. If you really want to change your life, why wait until January 1 to start? But perhaps it’s a positive thing if it helps us to truly focus on being better human beings — even if our New Year’s resolutions only last a few days or weeks!

Take a look at some of these popular New Year’s resolutions for 2009:

  • In 2009, I resolve to eat better.
  • In 2009, I resolve to keep my home in better shape.
  • In 2009, I resolve to take better care of my body.
  • In 2009, I resolve to be better about what I spend my money on.
  • In 2009, I resolve to look for a new job.

Any of those look familiar?

Now, go back and read those resolutions again … but this time, from the perspective of a person living in poverty.

Imagine a little boy in Kenya who resolves to eat better because he’s tired of going to bed hungry. Imagine a single mother in Peru who resolves to keep her 6’x6’ shack clean. I’ve seen families that sweep their dirt floors just to try to keep their humble homes presentable.

Imagine a little girl in India who wants to take control of her own body instead of falling prey to the men who abuse it. Imagine the family that scrapes together spare change to eat today. Imagine the father who is desperately searching for a job so he can give his children an education and a shot at life.

This year, I urge you to resolve to do something about global poverty. Get involved. 

Here’s a list of suggested, revised New Year’s resolutions for you:

  • In 2009, I resolve to go on a mission trip.
  • In 2009, I resolve to help my church start a food pantry — or donate to an existing one on a regular basis.
  • In 2009, I resolve to pray for children trapped in poverty.
  • In 2009, I resolve to support a ministry that cares for the poor.
  • In 2009, I resolve to think beyond myself and truly make a difference in the life of a child living in poverty.

And let’s try to make these New Year’s resolutions last.

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New Year Reflections for 2009

Happy New Year! We hope as you celebrate the beginning of 2009 you take time to reflect on the grand blessings and immense grace of the Lord . . . and prayerfully consider what the year ahead may have in store.

Here are a few of our highlights from 2008. In fact, they might be some of yours too; after baby girlall we could not have reached any of them without you!

  • We registered our one millionth child.
  • We opened the first Compassion child development center in Togo.
  • Compassion Tanzania registered its 50,000 child.

Of course, a year can be marked with trials as well. But through these trials the Lord is faithful to refine us as gold.

Many children and families already struggling to buy food have been, and are still, greatly affected by the Global Food Crisis. Although, with the guidance of God and your heart much has been accomplished:

  • 79,016 children have been able to receive immediate food relief because of your Global Food Crisis (GFC) donations.
  • In the Dominican Republic your GFC donations provided food certificates to 775 Child Survival Program participants. The main recipients being mothers and infants.
  • In Honduras your donations created productive micro projects such as poultry and fish production farms, to fight the crisis long term.
  • In Ethiopia, GFC donations helped provide therapeutic supplements, staple food grains and medication to nearly 11,000 families.

Thank you so much for your commitment to children in poverty this past year. They truly are blessed by your passion and faith.

In all things we can be confident that no matter where the Lord takes us, what situations He brings us into, or what blessings He has in store we will honor Him and be filled with His love.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3, NIV

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